One source told Reuters that the prospect of VW selling shares to raise money would become a likely scenario if the emissions scandal costs surpassed a “critical level”.
VW has already said it will set aside €6.5 billion in provisions in the third quarter.
Customers will be told soon whether their vehicle needs a refit, and the technical details will be presented to regulators in October.
On top of that, VW also faces onerous regulatory fines, including up to $18 billion in the United States, and the fallout on customer purchases can not yet be estimated.
Moody’s, S&P and Fitch have all put negative outlooks on their credit ratings for Volkswagen, meaning they see a risk they might have to be cut.
A source familiar with the matter also said the executive committee of Volkswagen’s supervisory board would meet on Wednesday to discuss progress with the company’s investigations and engaging USA law firm Jones Day to lead an external probe.
The scandal is also having repercussions in VW’s hometown of Wolfsburg, in northern Germany, which has imposed an immediate freeze on spending and hiring in the public administration in case its finances are adversely affected.
Volkswagen had 21.5 billion euros in net liquidity at the end of June and since then sold shares in former partner Suzuki Motor Corp. for about 3.4 billion euros. But he added it had said in the past that it needed a minimum of 10 billion euros in net cash to run the business.
Skoda, another Volkswagen affiliate, announced 1.2 million of its cars also have the surreptitious software.
The suspect diesel engines went on sale in 2009, which suggested the pollution-cheating software must have been under discussion within the company as early as 2007 and 2008, the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung wrote.
“There is no excuse whatsoever for the VW cheat”.
“Volkswagen has a broad range of options should they need to boost liquidity”, said Frank Biller, an analyst with LBBW.
While auto makers continue to produce more alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles, gasoline- and diesel-powered cars still prove popular among buyers.
France and Australia have joined other countries in launching investigations into Volkswagen, while an Italian consumer group has filed a class action lawsuit, accusing Volkswagen of deceiving vehicle owners and potentially harming the environment.
It was not all gloom, though.
Volkswagen declined to comment on the sources, who spoke to Reuters last night.